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Piano Fingering

Learning to play the piano is both a challenging and exciting task. Whether it’s a career you want to choose or just a hobby, playing the piano will definitely provide you a relaxing fit, not to mention, the capability of making people feel good and entertained.

In learning to play the piano, you have to get acquainted with its layout and the keys’ corresponding various notes. While this is a fairly easy task, you might get stuck on the next level. Of course, the logical thing you would ask is: which fingers do I use to play the keys?

Surprising as it may seem for first-time piano students, there is no hard rule on which fingers are set on particular piano keys. History suggests that the old school way of playing the piano do not require the use of the thumb to pivot around the keys. However, modern piano fingering system such as that of C. P. E. Bach allows the pianist to use the thumb in such a manner.

Piano Fingering

One common practice in piano fingering is to remember that the thumb is finger number 1. The succeeding fingers are numbered in an ascending manner. Since a piano scale has eight notes, meaning do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do, you would quickly notice that your hand could only cover five of these notes. This means that some of your fingers would need to have double work. Although you might want to consider using your other hand to compensate, this would only give you a headache when you’re faced with hard to play pieces.  Always remember that both of your hands must be working on their own scales.

In traditional piano fingering system, finger number 1 (the thumb), 2 and 3 plays the first three notes. After finger number 3 plays the third note, your thumb crosses under to play the 4th note, while your pinky will play the 5th note. When playing the lower scale, your right pinky finger starts the first note backwards. Your middle finger will take over cross over at the top of your thumb to play the sixth note. These would also be the process when you use your left hand. Practice this type of fingering system and you will notice that your fingers seem to waltz or dance to your music.

However, there are those that do not want to conform to the traditional piano fingering. It is for this reason that expert pianists devise their own fingering system. You, too, could also find your own playing system. What you just need to do is sort out the general realities that your fingers face while playing the keys. One of this is to accept the fact that your middle finger and the fingers on its sides are the only ones in the best position to play the black keys. Since your thumb and shortest finger are far apart, they are in the best positions to man the white keys. Try observing the fingering system of your favorite pianist and surely you’ll find a thing or two.

Bradly

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